News bulletins from the Australian Council for Educational Research published
Research Conference special edition
The articles in this edition of ACER eNews are based on papers presented to ACER Research Conference 2012 on the theme School Improvement: What does the research tell us about effective strategies?, held in Sydney from 26-28 August.
1200 minds meet on school improvement
Teachers, policymakers and researchers gathered in Sydney earlier this month to review not only what schools can do to improve outcomes for students but also how they can do it most effectively, at the 17th annual conference of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). With more than 1200 delegates attending, it was ACER’s largest conference to date.
School improvement needs ‘no excuses’ approach
Schools that make significant improvements in student achievement invariably are led by people who believe in the possibility of high performance regardless of a school’s circumstances or students’ socioeconomic backgrounds, according to the chief executive of ACER, Professor Geoff Masters.
In his opening keynote address to the 17th annual ACER Research Conference in Sydney, Professor Masters told more than 1200 delegates that school leadership teams are in powerful positions to influence the quality of classroom teaching and learning.
Personalising learning for school improvement
School improvement can be supported through a clinical approach in which teachers ‘diagnose’ individual student learning and provide appropriate ‘prescriptions’ for improvement, Professor Stephen Dinham told delegates to the annual ACER Research Conference on 27 August.
In his address to the conference, Professor Dinham from the University of Melbourne explained why educators need to take a clinical approach to teacher pre-service education, and why they need to ensure school leaders have a thorough grounding in instructional leadership for clinical teaching.
School improvement driven by culture and collaboration
When responsibility for professional development and school improvement lies with schools and school leaders, the building block of the school system is no longer a free-standing school but a cluster of schools in partnership, according to a UK academic.
Cambridge University academic Professor David Hargreaves explained to delegates to the annual ACER Research Conference how such clusters are pursuing school improvement in England.
Good evidence supports school improvement
Effective use of data by teachers is the crux of school improvement, Dr Michele Bruniges told delegates to the annual ACER Research Conference.
In her address on 28 August, Dr Bruniges from the NSW Department of Education and Communities said that while data is one of the most important diagnostic tools for teachers and schools it has become entangled in the ideological debate about school accountability.
School improvement not enough, expert warns
School improvement initiatives should occur within an innovative 'learning ecosystem' that engages a wide range of providers and partners, and would locate learning in a new variety of spaces and places, an international expert told delegates to the annual ACER research conference.
In the final keynote presentation of the conference, Board Director of the London-based not-for-profit, Innovation Unit, Ms Valerie Hannon said the pursuit of school improvement is insufficient to address the challenges facing the world if it is to provide equitable, effective learning systems for all its citizens.
Conference proceedings and podcasts
ACER Research Conference 2012 focused on the particular practices that research is revealing to have a powerful effect on school improvement endeavours. Presenters highlighted the conditions, contexts, curriculum, pedagogy and practices required for school improvement to occur. Audio podcasts and presentation slides from some speakers will be available on the ACER Research Conference website from mid-September. The conference proceedings, including full conference papers for each of the speakers, are available from the ACER research repository now.
ACER Research Conference 2013 will take place in Melbourne on the theme The Science of Learning: What lessons are there for teaching? The conference will take place from 4-6 August at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Further information about ACER Research Conference 2013 will be posted to the conference website as it becomes available.
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